About the book to come

Based in their HQs in Japan, GG was an executive at Nissan (early 2000s) and Toyota (early 2010s) when both companies lived through the most important turnarounds in their history. The book to come will share his key learning points from these unique experiences, which all Japanese, and ultimately global, firms can adopt.

Among many Japanese corporations, struggling to become global and develop, Nissan and Toyota are two role models. The way they have been able to innovate, propose products that meet customer needs, increase their brand value, grow continuously and profitably, and become really global while keeping their original values is an inspiration for others. GG happened to be part of those two great firms in Japan. First, as Nissan’s global product planning head, later as Toyota’s global brand strategy leader.

In the book to come, GG will explain what he learnt during these turbulent periods. Explaining how Japanese international firms but also all multinational organizations should adapt their way of managing global strategy, innovation and marketing.

In the book, we will see some of the following:

  • Which key and little known methods Carlos Ghosn used to rescue and grow Nissan
  • Why Renault Nissan alliance, unlike so many others, is still alive after more than 15 years. How the alliance continues to develop synergies, despite big cultural gaps between Japan and France and huge differences in company cultures
  • How a unique global product planning organisation was set-up that helped develop the innovations that drove Nissan’s doubling in size in 15 years
  • Which lessons can be drawn from the quality recall campaigns of 2010, which led to an unprecedented crisis in Toyota’s history, before serving as a catalyst to change and rebound under Akio Toyoda’s leadership
  • How the European product planning and marketing team developed and secured agreement to implement a strategy based on hybrid differentiation. Using this strategy to return to profit and growth in a continent where diesel technology was king and local actors dominant
  • How, in a company where local is more important than global (and “best in town” is the key motto) Toyota developed a global brand strategy. How this was done with the heads of the regional marketing operations, in a virtual team, ensuring the contribution, buy-in and support of regions. Toyota brand value grew by 60% in just 4 years*

And we will see that there are some common lessons from those success stories.

The book will be called “The Third Road Of Management”, as it follows neither the traditional road as learnt in a MBA nor the Japanese one. Unlike the most common Japanese management road, it emphasizes strong global strategy and marketing. But it is based on a collaborative approach not on a top-down one. As such, it respects Japanese cultural backgrounds and practices. All Japanese international corporations can apply it. Non-Japanese organizations could also do so, as the time of top-down “think centrally, act locally” will soon be gone. Finally, we will see which business requirements, in particular the role of the leader, have changed in this new environment.

*Interbrand ranking 2010-2014


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